John Wright, Duncan Fletcher in Riders’ coach shortlist

The Knight Riders’ team management has begun a hunt for a suitable coach in right earnest. Having sacked former Australian coach John Buchanan, KR is looking for someone who can turn around the fortunes of the team in the third season of the Indian Premier League which will begin on March 12, 2010.

The KR managers have been working overtime for the last one month and have finally shortlisted six coaches – three foreigners and three Indians – for a formal screening to be held at owner Shah Rukh Khan’s residence ‘Mannat’ on August 22.

However, two of the three Indians invited – Paras Mhambrey and Praveen Amre – have declined the invitation, citing their present commitments.

Other then the two mentioned above, those in the shortlist are: Lalchand Rajput (India), John Wright (New Zealand), Richard Pybus (South Africa) and Duncan Fletcher (England). TOI had first reported last month that Wright was in the KR scheme of things.

“Invites have been sent to these coaches and they have been asked to make formal presentations alongwith a list of their ideas that can help KR emerge a strong contender,” informed an official of the franchisee.

Mhambrey, former Mumbai and Bengal coach and currently coach of Baroda, said he did receive an invitation but wasn’t sure of being there. “I haven’t given it much thought as I am presently occupied with the Baroda Ranji team,” Mhambrey told TOI on Wednesday.

Amre too toed a similar line. Now in Chennai with the Mumbai team for the Buchi Babu tourney, Amre, who is also IPL franchisee Mumbai Indians’ coach, informed KR that he won’t be in Mumbai on August 22.

“I have told them that I will not be in Mumbai on that day and hence can’t attend the meeting. Besides I am coaching Mumbai Indians so how can I be available,” wondered Amre.

Lalchand Rajput, who coached Mumbai Indians in the first edition of the IPL is presently in Scotland, but has given his nod and is expected to be back in time for the presentation.

The three foreigners have also confirmed their participation. Former India coach Wright is already in India and according to sources met SRK at his residence on Wednesday.

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